NEW DELHI — Delhi's Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Wednesday annulled all bureaucratic postings done in the past one week by the Aam Aadmi Party government. In a letter to Kejriwal, Jung said only his office has the right to order transfers and postings.
"The power to appoint and to transfer, from steno to IAS officers, is with the LG," Jung wrote in his letter.
In the letter, the Lt Governor challenged AAP government's order to bureaucrats not to follow his directives without securing approval from the CM or any other minister.
Jung also contested AAP government's instructions to the officials to not route files through his office, saying he has been vested with power to decide on major policy issues.
In the letter, Jung explained constitutional provisions and norms laid down in Government of NCT of Delhi Act and Transaction of Business rules of the Delhi Government, and asked the AAP government to follow the rules and procedures.
Jung said orders pertaining to transfers and postings by AAP govt in the last four days were not valid as they did not have his approval.
The tussle over posting and transfer of bureaucrats had reached the President's doors yesterday after both Kejriwal and Jung met Pranab Mukherjee.
Kejriwal today also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused his government of trying to run the administration in the national capital. He and Sisodia also met with senior Delhi administration bureaucrats.
Emerging after meeting Mukherjee along with Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said yesterday: "We had a good meeting with the President. We told him that the LG is trying to run Delhi the way he did during President's Rule."
"We told him that the LG is issuing direction to officers bypassing the Chief Minister and threatening them. If this goes on, where will democracy be?"
Sisodia and Kejriwal informed the President that despite their objections, Jung insisted on appointing Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary. "We later approved (her name) ... but now (Jung) is interfering in the appointment of secretaries too."
On Tuesday, the AAP government named Arvind Ray, an IAS officer removed by the Lt Governor from the post of Secretary (Home), as the Secretary (General Administrative Department).
The post of secretary (GAD) was earlier held by Anindo Majumdar, who was on Monday locked out of his office at the Delhi Secretariat on Kejriwal's orders for following Jung's fiat to appoint Gamlin as acting chief secretary on May 15.
It was Gamlin's elevation which dramatically triggered the worst confrontation between Jung and the AAP government that stormed to power in February.
The Kejriwal government has accused Gamlin of lobbying for power companies.
On Monday, Jung rejected the appointment of Rajendra Kumar as the principal secretary (services). Later, the Delhi government said it won't pay heed to what he (Jung) had said as it was "unconstitutional".
Meanwhile, senior lawyers Indira Jaising and Rajeev Dhavan have reportedly submitted their legal opinion to the Kejriwal government on its request.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said it was meaningless to drag Modi in the ongoing dispute between Kejriwal and Jung.
"Dragging the Prime Minister into the dispute is absolutely meaningless. Making irrelevant charges of this kind is yet another way of trying to camouflage the fact that the Delhi Government under Arvind Kejriwal has lost the plot. They have no idea of their responsibilities," BJP spokesperson M J Akbar told ANI.
He advised Kejriwal to keep his party in order, instead of pointing fingers at others.
"Kejriwal wants to politicise everything into some form of dispute. The Chief Minister would be advised to keep his own house in order, rather than pointing a meaningless finger on others," he added.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who met the President, said that Delhi Chief Minister and the Lieutenant Governor must solve their differences.
Speaking to media after the meeting, Singh said he didn't discuss the Delhi confrontation with the latter. "I met the President. We did not discuss this," said Rajnath Singh.
"I think both the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister should sit together and find a solution to this problem," he added.